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Jour 4: Lessons from Bea Danville: How to save at sale time

Copyright 1956 by Wilfred Funk, Inc. 

[When I was a teenager, my fabulous mother gifted me with this genius vintage book: Dress Well on $1 a Day by Bea Danville. I can't believe I left it behind when I moved, but my mother graciously sent it along to me so that I could remind myself of this wisdom. And now, I share this wisdom with all of you.

This particular entry seemed appropriate, since all of the malls are suddenly filled with signs screaming AMAZING DEALS! AMAZING SALES!... which is funny, because like three weeks ago, these same stores were being like BUY CHRISTMAS GIFTS BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE! and they're still selling the same stuff, just cheaper now.

Anyway, Bea's advice is as timeless as ever as she teaches us how to shop the sales:]

"500 mink coats at $5.70" ran an advertisement placed in the New York papers some years ago by a department store famous for its bargains. Such a four-star announcement is likely to cause any normal girl to struggle into the first garment that comes to hand, stuff a ten-dollar bill into her purse, and dash down to the store long before opening time. On this particular morning, thousands of women did just that, each hoping to be one of the lucky 500.

It really was a bargain too good to be true. So staggering are the reductions sometimes made at sale time that few women who read the advertisement realized that the price quoted was a printer's error. What's more, no one could pick up the bargain mink. Stores are not obliged to honor advertisements misrepresented because of a typographical error.


Lesson #1: Don't buy a mink being sold for $5.70

Occasionally people do pick up such bargains as TV sets for $1.98 by camping out all night in order to be first in line next morning. And these startling offers are frequently quite genuine. They are the two or three "draw lines," or items deliberately marked down to a ridiculously low figure to attract the public's eye. If you are hardy enough, there is no reason why you shouldn't get one.

However, a much easier way to save a hundred dollars or more throughout the year is to conduct your own sale-bargain campaign. You won't lose any beauty sleep and the principles of successful "sale" shopping, once you've mastered them, can be applied year after year with financially happy results.


Another happy sale shopper, having used Bea Danville's timeless advice!

Why is it that one girl can join the bargain-hunting foray and emerge with just what she wants marked way down, while another learns from bitter experience only that there is more money to be spent than saved at sale time?

The answer lies in the tactics practiced by the first girl. In the first place, she probably knows what she wants and refuses to be sidetracked, no matter how tempting the price on the tag. In the second place, she always shops at a reputable store where the merchandise is always top-quality to start with. Thirdly, she understands what the announcements, such as "Reduced for Clearance" imply. And fourthly, she avoids all bogus sales almost by instinct.

No bargain is a bargain if you can't use it. On the contrary, it reverses itself and becomes an unnecessary expense, and this is something you must avoid at all costs if you are to stay "dress solvent."

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